To help better serve girls in the inner city, Girl Scouts of America created a program that does not require the time commitment or financial responsibility of being in a troop, but still provides the support and sense of community to the girls. For a semester, I served alongside Terencia Turner, the director of the school programs for Indianapolis, in a local school with a group of ten to twenty girls. The school was a particularly low scoring school with a large Latino population so the girls encountered many social adversities in their life and had few well developed social skills and little self-confidence. The outlined goals for the program provided by Girl Scouts of America were increasing social coping mechanisms and promote positive relationships, but I believe that by being a role model for these girls, we were able to achieve so much more.
I had never attended any program like this before, but I fully support after school programs like this due to their effectiveness. At the beginning of each session we would do a team building activity and an individual activity, for example a team obstacle course and an individual craft project. The purpose of this was to promote personal relationships as well as independence. These activities were all about building up the girls and making them more confident in what they do. The rest of the time we had a group bonding where we would discuss what is happening in their lives and how to cope with it. At a young age, these girls were faced with poverty, lack of nutritional foods, and violence, and oftentimes, they longed for an adult to talk with. Although I could not solve all of their problems, I could help them become more confident and provide them with outside resources to help guide them. The hardest part of this position was knowing that these girls would still struggle throughout their youth and all that I could do was be there for them on Wednesday evenings after school. I am passionate about serving in areas like this area because it is programs like these that can make small changes in a child’s life.